More than 18,000 workers are employed in Michigan’s marijuana industry, nearly double the number of cannabis jobs in the state a year ago, according to a new cannabis industry jobs report.
“There are now more cannabis workers than cops in Michigan,” said the fifth annual Leafly jobs report, released Tuesday. “In a state known for its auto industry, the number of cannabis workers is now roughly equal to the number of auto repair mechanics.”
Leafly, a Seattle-based marijuana media organization, uses available revenue and labor figures from licensing records to compile the annual report.
According to the Leafly data, Michigan employs the sixth most cannabis industry employees in the nation and in 2020 increased its share faster than most other states, surpassing the likes of the marijuana legalization pioneer state of Oregon.
“Despite a year marked by a global pandemic, spiking unemployment, and economic recession, the legal cannabis industry added 77,300 full-time jobs in the United States,” the Leafly report said. “That represents 32% year-over-year job growth, an astonishing figure in the worst year for US economic growth since World War II.
“Outside the cannabis industry, the U.S. economy shrank by 3.5%, the unemployment rate almost doubled, and nearly 10 million Americans saw their jobs disappear.”
The nationwide number of marijuana industry jobs increased by about 15% to 321,000, or 77,000 jobs, compared to 2019.
The U.S. Department of Labor does not track marijuana industry jobs and Michigan officials don’t make marijuana industry employment data immediately available to the public.
Michigan’s recreational market opened in December 2019 and has proliferated throughout 2020, despite the pandemic. Monthly recreational sales increased from about $10 million in January 2020 to $61.6 million in December.
Businesses continued to hire and expand as they pivoted to offer curbside pickup and delivery options with support of state licensing officials who expedited changes to help businesses stay afloat.
By the end of 2020, medical and recreational revenues combined were on track to reach $1 billion over the next 12 months, based on December sales figures.
With the number of licensed businesses continuing to increase daily, it’s likely sales and employment figures will grow through 2021.
According to Leafly, the marijuana industry has created more jobs than any other market segment over the last four years.
“Since 2017, the U.S. cannabis industry has averaged 27.5% growth each year,” Leafly reports. “No other industry even comes close.”